Corneal thickness often comes into the discussion concerning Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the world. This is due to the interrelation between these two conditions. The thickness of the cornea is related to several other eye disorders with its prominence in eye functions. A sufficient eye thickness is required to go through treatments like LASIK, Femto-LASIK that are performed to correct the refractive errors. Hence, this article discusses the importance of corneal thickness and how its variability can affect the eyesight of each individual.
Structure And Functions Of Cornea
The cornea is the transparent part of the eye that covers the front portion of your optics. This includes the pupil (opening at the center), iris (colored part), and the anterior chamber (the fluid-filled inside of the eye). It is responsible for focusing most of the light that enters the eye and refracting or bending them accordingly.
It is composed of protein and cells with no blood vessels as they can cloud the cornea disrupting its functions. The anterior chamber of the eye supplies adequate nutrients to the cornea by tears and fluids enhancing its operations. It comprises five layers, and the first layer absorbs the nutrient and transfers them to the rest of the cornea.
The structure consists of free nerve endings and acts as a barrier by preventing foreign matter from entering the eye. It has the ability to heal itself from minor abrasions. However, a deep tearing can cause scars and lose its transparency leading to vision impairments.
Significance Of Corneal Thickness
The importance of corneal thickness comes with its ability to mask an accurate reading of eye pressure. Ophthalmologists refer to these readings to treat eye conditions and measure the risk of getting severe eye diseases like glaucoma conditions.
An average corneal thickness is considered to be about 540 microns or half a millimeter and can be checked by a handheld ultrasound device called a pachymeter. People with corneas less than 500 microns are considered as high-risk sectors to get glaucoma conditions.
When your cornea gets into misshape, the light does not bend correctly and results in blurred images. The condition can cause all types of refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (loss of near vision with age), and astigmatism.
Corneal thickness is critical in refractive error treatments as it includes removing tissues leaving the cornea thinner. The flap usually takes about 160 microns, and hence to be a candidate for LASIK treatment, you need to have a corneal thickness of 450-550 microns.
It is essential to understand the significance of a healthy cornea and eye to sustain prolonged healthy eyesight. A regular visit to the ophthalmology clinic will help you prevent eye problems at the earliest. Practices like consuming a balanced diet, regular exercises, sufficient sleep, and avoiding habits like smoking will help you maintain eye health and keep your vision in good condition as you get older.
If you are concerned about your cornea thickness, visit us at the New Vision Eye Center for a comprehensive eye check, including a pachymetry test, and ensure your eyes are in safe conditions. Our friendly staff is happy to help with all your vision concerns.